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With Arctic Thunder 2020 canceled, JBER puts on small show for first responders

  • Author: Loren Holmes
  • Updated: July 21, 2020
  • Published July 11, 2020

This weekend was supposed to be a big one for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, with more than 100,000 people coming onto the military installation to attend Arctic Thunder, a two-day air show and open house held every other year. But with concerns over COVID-19, the event was canceled last month.

“In July of 2020 we were going to do our Arctic Thunder open house,” said Lt. Col. Tony LoMedico, an AWACS mission crew commander and Arctic Thunder project officer. “It got canceled due to the pandemic so we pivoted, and we still wanted to meet our two main goals, and that was to thank the community as well as to support recruiting and retention.”

Instead of the big air show, JBER invited the public to nominate “COVID Heroes,” first responders and essential workers, who would attend a much smaller gathering. On Friday, about 100 people were in attendance for a static display of military aircraft and a F-22 Raptor demonstration flight.

After the demonstration, a group of six young recruits took an enlistment oath and joined the Air Force.

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